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RESTRUCTURING OF ALASKA LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE MARKET FAVORABLE FOR GCI

 ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Nov. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The Alaska Joint Board has adopted a final recommended decision for changes to the structure of the Alaska long-distance market -- a move that GCI President Ron Duncan says will change the structure of the Alaska long-distance telephone market in a way that benefits competitors and consumers. The full text of the Joint Boards' decision was released on Friday, Oct. 29 and now goes to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for adoption.
 "GCI supports the Joint Board recommendation," said Duncan. "The elimination of the current AT&T-Alascom subsidy will make competition in the Alaska market fair for all parties."
 The Joint Board recommended that the subsidy received by Alascom from AT&T be eliminated, after an adequate transition. That transition will begin on March 1, 1994 and last for four years. Until Sept. 1, 1995, the subsidy from AT&T to Alascom will continue. During the subsequent 2 1/2 years, AT&T will be required to carry a declining percentage of its traffic on Alascom. That amount declines every six months, beginning at 90 percent and decreasing to zero percent.
 AT&T has also been ordered to pay an additional $150 million to Alascom to reduce the book value of its plant. Alascom will receive $75 million on March 1, 1994 and $75 million on Sept. 1, 1995.
 According to the decision, AT&T must continue to provide service to Alaska both during and after the transition. Following the transition, Alascom can offer service independently, if it chooses. Alascom must continue to offer private line service and distribution service to rural Alaska for other carriers, while AT&T can offer private line service, if it chooses.
 "All of the parties in the Alaska market were waiting for this," Duncan said. "Now that the regulators have made a decision, the parties can proceed with plans for investment in Alaska. I expect there definitely will be reshaping of the Alaska market in the next several years."
 The Alaska Joint Board is composed of three federal and four state utility commissioners. They are Chairman James H. Quello and Commissioners Ervin S. Duggan, Andrew C. Barrett of the FCC, Commissioner Susan M. Knowles of the Alaska Public Utilities Commission, Commissioner Dean J. (Joe) D. Miller of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission, Commissioner Bruce Hagen of the North Dakota Public Service Commission and Chairman David W. Rolka of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
 The Joint Board Decision now goes to the full FCC for adoption. Because the three current members of the FCC voted for adoption of the decision, without qualification, rapid FCC adoption is likely.
 GCI is an Alaska-based, long-distance telecommunications company providing a full range of message toll and private line services to more than 80,000 customers. Since first offering service in 1982, the company has grown to employ more than 350 people with 1992 annual revenues of $96,499,000.
 -0- 11/2/93
 /CONTACT: Linda Duck of GCI, 907-265-5458; or Bonnie Bernholz of Bernholz & Graham, 907-561-4488, for GCI/


CO: GCI; AT&T; Alascom; Alaska Joint Board; Federal Communications
 Commission ST: Alaska IN: TLS SU:


RB-JH -- SE008 -- 9470 11/02/93 07:52 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 2, 1993
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